The most important action you can take for World Wildlife Day
By Melissa Matlow, our Campaign Director
Each year, March 3 marks World Wildlife Day, a special day designated by the UN to celebrate the world’s wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the threats to their survival. With the deadly pandemic still raging, recognizing this day and the connection between humans, animals and the planet is more relevant than ever. Protecting wildlife and nature also means protecting humans and the planet.
It is widely acknowledged that the wildlife trade played a significant role in the evolution and spread of COVID-19. We know that 75% of new or emerging infectious diseases come from animals, mainly wildlife (e.g., SARS, MERS, Ebola, HIV/AIDS). Two prominent reports by the UNEP and IPBES cite the wildlife trade as one of the top drivers of pandemic risk and biodiversity loss.
With your support, we focus on curbing the soaring legal wildlife trade because cruelty and deadly pathogens exist regardless of legality, how animals are acquired or what they are used for. It is unethical to exploit wild animals for commodities like luxury products, trinkets and exotic pets that nobody needs, and current regulations have failed to protect wildlife. More than 15,000 animals are threatened and this number continues to increase.
This is why the most important action you can take to protect wildlife this year is to add your voice to our campaigns to stop the legal commercial wildlife trade. This will not only help prevent animal cruelty and extinction – it is also one of the most effective strategies for preventing future pandemics.
Here’s what you can do to help protect the world’s wildlife: